Just a quick note on this first morning of the first day of the new year. Of all the issues and developments that will no doubt crowd our attention in 2023, I think each of the following carries the potential for decisive impact. First, labor struggles and the unionization movement. To my mind, the large … Continue reading Three things social workers should watch in 2023
Author: Michael Forster
Systemic infrastructure neglect is undermining social welfare
Destabilized natural systems clearly have no respect for the holiday season. Right now I'm thinking of just two of this week's horror stories resulting from the latest "once in a generation" (uh, really?) storm. In blizzard-battered Buffalo, hundreds of national guardsmen are still finding frozen bodies and rescuing families from houses lacking food and heat. … Continue reading Systemic infrastructure neglect is undermining social welfare
Social workers, why not resolve to prioritize peace in 2023?
Nobody really wins in war. Indeed, who dares disagree with the assertion of journalist and former war correspondent Chris Hedges' latest book, "The Greatest Evil is War"? Death, destruction and trauma, squandered wealth and wasted talents, deeply sown seeds of future antagonisms and cycles of violence, suicidal distraction from the urgent tasks of promoting genuine … Continue reading Social workers, why not resolve to prioritize peace in 2023?
Even at its best, an advancing climate crisis means the disruption of daily life
So today I had lined up three appointments important to various projects I'm working on. All of them had to be canceled due to a severe weather projection - at least heavy rains and strong winds rolling through several Southern states on the front end of a cold front. In response, schools (including USM) and … Continue reading Even at its best, an advancing climate crisis means the disruption of daily life
Why should social workers care about a thwarted strike by railroad workers?
On the face of it, the recent decision by Congress to prohibit a strike by railroad workers has little to do with the profession of social work. But we social workers should should look more closely; if we do, I'm convinced we'll realize that this anti-labor rights action has serious implications for the general state … Continue reading Why should social workers care about a thwarted strike by railroad workers?
Five presuppositions social workers need to rethink
Social work leaders are charged with communicating and reinforcing central components of professional identity – notably (1) the professional values and ethics base, and (2) core beliefs and presuppositions concerning social reality and how to make change consonant with social work values and ethics. As the U.S. descends into a seemingly permanent state of division, … Continue reading Five presuppositions social workers need to rethink
Five things social workers should know about COP27
The 27th "Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" just wrapped up a week of meetings in Cairo, Egypt. Most mainstream media coverage has directed attention to the "historic" decision of the COP to establish a "loss and damage" fund to help nations of the global South - those least responsible … Continue reading Five things social workers should know about COP27
What should social workers take away from the midterm elections?
The flood of midterm election analysis from the U.S. pundit class will continue for some time, no doubt, shortly to overflow into full-body immersion in the whirlpool of 2024 presidential horserace speculation. Some analysis will surely offer useful insight; much more of it won't be worth the digital newsprint on which it's published. Here are … Continue reading What should social workers take away from the midterm elections?
Election day musings from a social work perspective
It's November 8, the day of midterm elections that will determine not only the composition of the next U.S. Congress, but also more than half the states' governorships, as well as a host of "lesser" officials ranging from secretaries of state to judgeships and school board members. I believe that it's fair to say, without … Continue reading Election day musings from a social work perspective
US Supreme Court puts the last nail in the coffin of legislative incrementalism
i have never been a big fan of progressive policy incrementalism - i.e., the advocacy approach, unfortunately favored by the social work profession, of gradually making small policy changes, usually through legislative action, that eventually add up to meaningful, if not structural and socially transformative, change. As far as I can tell from reading American … Continue reading US Supreme Court puts the last nail in the coffin of legislative incrementalism